Supermarket Sweep


While I used to view the weekly shop as a boring chore I have now come to think of it as a series of obstacles that have to be overcome. I could compare it to an Olympic event and if so getting home with all the shopping intact is like winning a gold medal. It’s definitely as exhausting anyway…

The first mission is to get a parent and child parking space and if I’m successful then it feels like we’re off to a good start. Room to pull in and reverse out with ease even if I am in the process of singing ‘Baa baa black sheep’ whilst being wacked over the head with flying toys. There’s also enough room to manoeuvre the trolley right next to the car to get the little one in and out without fear of giving anyone a prang…

Next challenge; no matter how much I feed him before we leave the house the minute we step inside the store I will be faced with a starving child. The trouble is even the snacks I’ve packed in the changing bag won’t suffice; it has to be something off the shelf. Thankfully supermarkets seem to be very understanding about this predicament and don’t bat an eyelid so I’m obviously not the only one faced with this dilemma. Apples are first on the agenda and while at home they would be washed, peeled and cut into chunks this now goes out the window; the bag is torn open, and the one at the top is grabbed and bitten into like it’s the first thing he’s eaten in a week. Anything else that looks edible is sampled before tossing it back into the trolley now covered in saliva.

Once he is full to the brim it’s no longer a case of wanting to eat the produce but to help carry it. Every item we select I hear him chirp up ‘I’ll hold it’. It is then a case of making some quick judgements about what is and isn’t safe. Some are more obvious than others and unfortunately I’ve had to learn the hard way. While breakables are a clear no I had thought that flour was a safe bet; won’t get damaged, isn’t harmful, doesn’t roll, isn’t cold, no sharp corners… I hadn’t taken into consideration the fact he was teething so safe to say he ended up looking like Frosty the Snowman.

The aisle I always dread the most is the one we have to venture up; the baby aisle. It is both cunning and cruel that my local store positions the nappies directly opposite the most desirable toys. They know full well that while mums are stocking up on the essentials their children are eyeing up their latest must have purchase. The occasional whinge that ensued before this has now become a full blown wail. Distraction is the only answer and it is trial and error on what will work on a given day; I may have to burst into song, play an impromptu game of peekaboo or race the trolley like he’s on a roller coaster. The security guys watching the cctv must love it.

The final hurdle is the check out, unfortunately with many of the packets of fruit and snacks ripped open it is a juggling act to keep everything contained. In addition any items that are being clung onto now have to be removed from his tight grip so any understanding cashiers that are quick to swipe these through are a life saver. If they also have a bit of banter with the baby then I am grateful for the entertainment they provide while I’m bagging up the goods.

With it finished for another week I am just grateful that I have six days to psyche myself up for our next trip…

Footnote: Just got back from today’s shop and he was an angel the whole time! Someone’s obviously been reading over my shoulder!


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